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Mon Dec 16, 2019, 09:10 AM

Samoa measles outbreak - a timeline


Mackay, Ian M. (2019): Measles in Samoa in 2019: a timeline. figshare. Figure. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.11370180.v1

Aug 19 - single infected traveller from NZ leaves Samoa
Sep 30 - Samoa Ministry of Health sends 28 samples to Australia
Oct 16 - Ministry of Health declares Measles epidemic and encourages vaccination, first infant death
Oct 24 - 213 suspected cases, 15 confirmed
Nov 17 - State of Emergency declared
Nov 25 - 2,194 cases, 25 deaths
Dec 1 - 3,530 cases, 48 deaths
Dec 5&6 - Samoa shuts down business and government, door-to-door mass vaccination
Dec 12 - 93% now vaccinated

As of Dec 15 - 5,267 cases and 73 deaths

Some background from Wiki:

Vaccine hesitancy
The outbreak has been attributed to a sharp drop in measles vaccination from the previous year. In 2018, two infants died shortly after receiving measles vaccinations, and this was picked up by anti-vaccine groups and used to stoke vaccine fears on social media causing the government to suspend its measles vaccination program.[13] The cause of death in the 2018 incident was incorrect preparation of the vaccine by two nurses who mixed vaccine powder with expired anaesthetic instead of the appropriate diluent.[14] Following the incident, the government temporarily stopped its vaccination program. However, the incident caused many Samoan residents to lose trust in the healthcare system.[15]

UNICEF and the World Health Organisation estimate that the measles vaccination rate in Samoa fell from 74% in 2017 to 34% in 2018.[5][16] Ideally, countries should have an immunisation levels above 90%. Prior to the outbreak vaccination rates had dropped to 31% in Samoa, compared to 99% in nearby Nauru, Niue, Cook Islands[17] and American Samoa.[18]

Samoa, Tonga and Fiji have all declared states of emergency to tackle their 2019 measles outbreaks. The high mortality rate in Samoa is attributed to the low (31%) vaccination rate in Samoa. In Tonga and Fiji, the lack of fatalities is explained by the far higher vaccination rates.[17]



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